Civil servants to face tougher tests

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Oct 20, 2012 - Page 3

The Examination Yuan, the nation’s civil service system regulator, passed a draft bill on Thursday that is expected to subject government workers to stricter performance evaluations with the aim of weeding out subpar civil servants.

Under the draft amendments to the Civil Servants Evaluation Act (公務人員考績法), between 1 and 3 percent of government staff will receive a “D” — the second-lowest grade — in their annual job evaluations and employees who receive three Ds over 10 years are to be fired or face early retirement.

Current regulations stating that staff members who receive “E” grades in annual evaluations would be fired remain unchanged.

The draft bill also stipulates that a maximum of 5 percent of government workers governed by the act — a total of about 270,000 — can receive an “A” grade.

The draft bill was to be sent to the Legislature for approval yesterday.

Once approved, it is estimated that between 2,700 and 8,100 civil servants would get a “D” in their evaluations every year, an increase from the 430 people rated “D” last year.

The Examination Yuan introduced measures designed to ease the passage of the draft bill, which failed to clear the Legislature in 2010 due to opposition from some civil servants.

For instance, the amended act will ensure that those getting “D’s” are not all new employees or junior personnel.

Examination Yuan President John Kuan (關中) said the draft bill would help greatly improve government efficiency and also boost public identification with the government’s administrative bodies.

However, chairman of the National Civil Servant Association, Chen Chuan-ching (陳川青), opposed the draft bill, saying that the 1 to 3 percentage point plan is ridiculous and will cause confrontations within government agencies.

“It is like telling a police precinct they must catch 10 thieves and, not knowing who the thieves are, each precinct ends up randomly picking out 10 people,” Chen said.